Rassie Van der Dussen finally shows his worth
Star could be in the mix for the upcoming Cricket World Cup
Hendrik Erasmus "Rassie" van der Dussen may have been around the South African cricket domestic block for more than 10 years, but he's needed the last two seasons to serve notice of his batting ability.
And he did that in two different formats where he was the top scorer in the Four-day Franchise series last season.
That hot streak was transferred to the Mzansi Super League where he was not only top scorer, but helped the Jozi Stars win the tournament.
While the hard yards were put in, a shift away from opening the batting partially completed the 29-year-old's cricket puzzle.
"Moving to the middle order has allowed access to the aggressive part of my game that I used to have. I think it was inhibited by opening the batting but there's been a lot of technical work that's gone into my batting. Being 29 means I know my game pretty well but playing in overseas leagues against some very good bowlers made me believe I could go up a level," Van der Dussen said.
"In the last two years, I've learnt to trust myself and my abilities. I've taken a lot of pressure off myself because in my younger years, I wanted to perform so badly and I ended up putting too much pressure on myself. Trusting my ability has been important but enjoying the moment has also been crucial for me."
The lanky righter from Pretoria who came through Hoerskool Menlopark made his ODI debut against Pakistan in Port Elizabeth yesterday.
His international bow though came in the shortest format against Zimbabwe in East London last year.
He finds himself in the World Cup batting rat-race where he's competing against Aiden Markram, Reeza Hendricks and Heinrich Klaasen for the few remaining batting spots.
Being the most junior in the chasing group means Van der Dussen can't look too far ahead.
"When I got the news that I'll be joining the national team, I had such a warm feeling inside of me because of the honour bestowed on me by being part of the national team. My goal is just to be at my best because I'm not thinking about the World Cup. It does sound like a cliché but I want to take things one game at a time," Van der Dussen said.
WHAT HE'S DONE SO FAR
First-Class: 496 runs in six games at 55.11; Mzansi Super League: 469 runs at 58.42 in 12 games
First-Class: 959 runs at 73.76 in 10 games; T20: 171 runs at 28.50 in 8 games; List A: 432 runs at 48 in 10 games
First-Class: 540 runs at 33.75 in 10 games; T20: 345 runs at 31.36 in eight games; List A: 304 runs at 30.40 in 10 games
First-Class: 520 runs at 32.50 in 10 games; T20: 242 runs at 24.20 in 10 games; List A: 239 runs at 29.87 in 11 games
First-Class: 539 runs at 35.93 in 10 games; T20: 201 runs at 50.20 in six games (1x50, 1x100) - 13th; List A: 191 runs at 95.50 in three games
First-Class: 178 runs at 44.50 in three games; T20: 188 runs at 47 in four games*; List A: 308 runs at 44 in nine matches
* Was playing for North-West in the CSA Provincial T20 Challenge